For many people, the past year has brought a renewed sense of appreciation for the environment—not only as a safe outdoor space to enjoy amid a pandemic—but as a global system whose fate is linked to humanity’s through climate change and human-wildlife interactions.
To celebrate Earth Week, the University of Chicago is marking the occasion with a suite of programming around sustainability and environmental research, education and awareness initiatives. Anchoring the effort is a new platform aimed at fostering connection among and support for the University’s Environmental Community, dubbed “UChicago ECo.”
The website features information about events; course and program offerings; funding, volunteer and career opportunities; updates on campus sustainability initiatives; and more. It spans a wide range of scholarship and involvement opportunities at the University of Chicago that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of environmental challenges and solutions.
A few examples of the many ways to participate each day next week are below. Visit the UChicago ECo Calendar to see them all.
- From April 12–22: The Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry is inviting all University of Chicago students to vote on a new art acquisition for the Smart Museum of Art. Learn more about the four works of art with environmental themes and cast your vote here.
- Monday, April 19: The Seminary Co-op is offering a virtual event with Camille T. Dungy (author of Trophic Cascade) and Ed Roberson (author of Asked What Has Changed) to discuss their two pivotal new poetry books that raise questions about how to live amid environmental degradation and uncertainty about the fate of our planet.
- Tuesday, April 20: The Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation’s Environmental Frontiers Initiative is showcasing student research projects around campus sustainability. The EFI is a collaborative effort that seeks to further the University’s sustainability goals by analyzing how energy and water are used on campus. Join this session to hear from undergraduates about the interventions they evaluated to improve conservation.
- Wednesday, April 21: The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is offering a presentation series on the environmental protection and sustainability research, hosted by Dean Matthew Tirrell. The series features talks from graduate students and faculty members on research in areas like solar fuel production, new techniques and materials for energy storage, sustainable plastics, agricultural innovation and more.
- Thursday, April 22: Annual Earth Day of Service. Participants can volunteer for socially-distanced, outdoor service projects across the South Side in partnership with local community organizations at sites including Jackson Park, Washington Park, the Midway Plaisance, community and school gardens and the lakefront.
- Friday, April 23: the Chicago Studies Program will host a conversation titled “The Future of Farmers’ Markets,” featuring a live conversation and Q&A with Chicago area farmers and market managers about the evolution and future of Chicago’s vibrant outdoor markets through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.